Too Shy, but Bold

I was wating random videos on YouTube and I ran across a 2011 short film by Ryan Hutchinson, called “Too Shy.” Instead of me explaining it, it is best to just watch it.

So what does it mean to be shy? According to, shy can mean bashful (uncomfortably diffident), retiring, easily frightened away, timid.  Shy is derived from the Germanic language skeukhaz, meaning afraid; In Italian, schivare, another loan-word meaning to avoid (Shy).  So, why do we act shy? I do it, and almost everyone else in the world is shy in one form or another, but why?  Among many reasons, one is self-preservation—preserving way of life as it is in that moment.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but there are times in life where we cannot be in our comfort zone.  As survivors in this world, we cannot remain forever in our comfort zone; we must step outside of it.  “If you risk nothing, you gain nothing” is something Bear Grylls says.

Why should I live outside on my comfort zone?  Because living outside of it, you begin to view the world and experience it differently.  Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  It’s not easy.  “The hardest thing to do is leaving your comfort zone. But you have to let go of the life you’re familiar with and take the risk to live the life you dream about” (T. Arigo).  Outside of your comfort zone is where you discover who you truly are.

How do I put my shyness aside?  A semester ago, I took a rock climbing class.  Falling is an integral part of climbing and there is a way to do it—which means practice.  The instructor chose me to demonstrate this to the class, because I had some climbing experience.  I climbed up 20 feet or so; there was slack in the rope, meaning I would fall six to eight feet plus rope stretch.  I prepared myself. I told myself, five seconds of insane courage. I took a breath in.  As I exhaled, I let my hands relax, slipping from the holds.

The five seconds of insane courage came from the movie We Bought A Zoo.  The actual quote is, “All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage to change your life.”   I have kept that philosophy and use it.  It has become a mantra for me.  What could you do with 20 seconds of insane courage? Ask someone out who you have feelings for?  Tackle something that frightens you?  Try something new?  Experience something new?

I’m not asking you to be fearless.  As Taylor Swift once said, ““To me, fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”  All I am challenging you is to set aside being shy, afraid, timid, frightened, and use your 20 seconds of insane courage.  Who knows, something great may happen…

nobis vivatis

Work Cited

shy. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved February 11, 2014, from website:


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